Teaching Cooperation with Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers

June 25, 2019 4 Comments

Today I am sharing how I use this picture book – Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers by Steve Newberry – to teach not only conventions, but cooperation too!

The Book

Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers

Written and Illustrated by Steve Newberry

Grades 1 – 4

Age Range 5 – 10

Pages 48

Publisher The Innovation Press

Copyright 2017

If I had to pick one word to describe this humorous picture book, that word would be FUN.  Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers follows the witty conversations of several punctuation pals – Question Mark, Exclamation Point, Comma, and Period – as they quibble over what to do.  A new friend, Semicolon, comes on the scene and brings along some great ideas about how they can combine their strengths to come up with even better adventures!

At the start of each school year, nurturing relationships with my students and creating opportunities for my students to form trusting, purposeful relationships with one another is Priority One.  I sure didn’t expect a book about punctuation to turn out to be a wonderful mentor text for discussing cooperation and other team-building skills… but this one is!

Enjoy this book trailer to get a sense of the tone!

The author includes several pages of “Learning Time” at the end of the book, detailing the job that each of these punctuation pals plays out in well-written prose.  

The Freebie

I plan on creating additional resources to go along with this soon, but in the meantime I am sharing a FREEBIE that is as simple as printing, laminating, and putting in a folder for your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th graders to use with a buddy in a literacy center.  Click here to download and use!

Students work in pairs to match punctuation – period, comma, exclamation point, question mark, and semicolon – with sentences that need them to be complete.  Once they’ve matched all of the cards, students record their corrected sentences on the included worksheet and check with the answer key (also included).  Easy peasy, but good practice!

Hedgehog Reader

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  • Sweet Integrations September 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    What a precious book! Loved meeting you at the conference!

    • Hedgehog Reader September 16, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      I loved meeting you too! You're every bit as nice in real life as you are out here in the digital world! :o)

  • The Techie Teacher® September 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    You sold me! I just ordered this book. It looks adorable and I bet kids will looooove it. Thank you 🙂
    The Techie Teacher

    • Hedgehog Reader September 16, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Hooray! I think our kids will enjoy the dry humor!

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    I teach 5th Grade Gifted children in sunny Arizona. I love to learn, to read and write, and to nurture kind, creative, and effective classrooms! Please join me as I share children's literature, inspirational teaching ideas, and other things that are close to my heart. Read More



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